Devyani Singh Raizada had seen it all in her long life. Ups and many painful downs. She had lost her husband to cancer, her daughter and son in law in a car accident, and then had almost lost her two grandchildren. But she never gave up faith for her family, continuing to live and fight for them. She was aware life wasn’t perfect, therefore she had not expected it from her family. All she ever wanted was happiness for her children and grandchildren.
But she had been worried for one person, who held a special place in her heart, her grandson, Arnav. Growing up, he had kept to himself, then put all his energy and time into building AR. But she knew that wasn’t enough to get through life.
She smiled, thinking about their many arguments for him to settle down after seeing his pictures in the newspaper with different women. The biggest one was when he announced he was moving out of Shantivan. He was insistent upon living on his own in the Penthouse at AR Headquarters, downright refusing to get married. There was nothing that anyone could say or do to get him to change his mind. Seeing him flourishing with AR and cognizant of his aspiration to reach greater heights, she had decided to support him.
Now looking back, it had been the right thing to do. Since he found happiness on his own, his Khushi. A young woman she had come to admire, not only for giving her her grandson back but also for her professional accomplishments. To Devyani, Khushi had the right balance between modern and traditional, which made her compatible with Arnav. She was confident the two would always keep the other happy.
She stood outside his bedroom to find him working on his laptop. She sighed, realizing some things never change. Here he was the day before his shaadi… working.
Does he ever stop?
“Chote, can I come in?”
Arnav glanced up from his screen to find his Nani standing at his doorway. He instantly stood up, and helped her inside.
“Why didn’t you have someone call me? I would have come to you. Please sit down.”
She slowly sat down on the chaise, signaling him to sit beside her.
“Why are you still working? You are getting married tomorrow, don’t you think you should sit back and enjoy the celebrations. This only happens once in your life, Chote.” She caressed his cheek, admiring what a remarkable man he had become.
“I know, Nani, there were a couple of things that I needed to finish this morning then you will be happy to know your favorite grandson plans to not work for the next ten days.”
They both laughed.
“Sach? Now that is a miracle. One I will believe when I see it. But yes, this Nani is extremely happy to see her grandson finally take some deserved time off.”
“For once, I am looking forward to it. What’s that, Angel?”
Her heart swelled up at the endearment he had given her a few months after they came to Delhi to live with her. He barely said a few words during those months, only whispering to Anjali. But one day during dinner he had called her Angel, since she made his favorite dinner.
She smiled, looking down the antique decorated jewelry box, not knowing if he would remember, and handed it to him.
He raised his eyebrow, curiously opening the box. But seeing the content inside, he swallowed the lump that was forming in his throat.
“Do you remember these payals?”
He simply nodded, losing his voice, feeling a piercing ache in his heart.
“I think you were nine years old, when you came over during summer vacation with Ananya. I still remember that day… you sat next to her fascinated, while she was picking out jewelry. And when you saw these, you insisted she buy them for your wife. You would not give up until she agreed.” She giggled, remembering him pulling her pallu, and constantly nudging her arm.
He took a deep breath, caressing his fingers on the exquisite intricate gold payals embellished with diamonds, rubies, and pearls.
“Then she started laughing and teasing me about getting me married right away. I got mad, stomping away to go play with Di and Aakash… but how did you get these?”
“Ananya was so happy that day thinking about you getting married. That’s what she talked about the entire day, your wedding, what kind of girl you would find, everything. But since the clasp was loose, the jeweler took them back to get it replaced. She was going to take them the next time she visited. Who knew that would be the… last…”
She trembled as the tears streamed down her face. She held onto his hand. Even after all these years, the pain never lessened when she thought about her daughter. But she shook her head, stopping the tears. Ananya would not want them to be sad today, she would want everyone celebrating her Chote’s shaadi.
She saw through the anguish in his eyes, and it broke her heart.
“Nani… do you think Ma would have approved of Khushi?” He whispered, looking directly into his Nani’s eyes, searching for the approval that was important to him.
“I know she would have been extremely happy to welcome Khushi not as her daughter in law but her daughter. That’s how special our Khushi is. And take this as a sign that your Ma is with you both. How else could you explain this is the only piece of her jewelry left with us? Now make sure you give these to Khushi Bitiya.”
“Thank you, Nani… for everything that you have ever done for me. You truly are my Angel.”
She smiled, wrapping her arms around him, content her Chote had finally found his happiness.
After spending the next couple of hours closing out loose ends and assigning the outstanding work for Aakash to oversee, Arnav Singh Raizada closed his laptop. For the first time in his professional career, he was not going to be working for the next ten days.
Would he be able to stay away from work for that long?
Why not? After all he would be in paradise alone with his wife, who deserved his full attention, just as he did hers. With the last six weeks being hectic and being apart, they both needed this.
He made his way out of his room to join the others, but stopped in the hall, hearing a familiar text alert. His lip curved at the corner of his mouth, taking the phone out of his pocket and glanced at the screen.
“Hi! I know you must be busy with the preparations for tonight, but I was wondering if you had some time to meet me. There is something I need to discuss with you.”
The smile disappeared in no time, unsure of what to make of the text.
“Sure I can meet you. Your house?”
“No, I need to meet you alone. Plus I am not home, had to take care of something for tonight. Can we meet at your office?”
He didn’t like the vibe he was getting from her message, this was unlike her wanting to meet alone with everything going on.
“Let’s meet at my penthouse at AR Headquarters. I will be there in twenty minutes.”
He immediately rushed out to see what could be so important.
Khushi stepped inside the penthouse using her key that Arnav had given her before she left New York. Placing the key back inside her bag, she walked to the kitchen.
She grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge attempting to relax herself before his arrival. This wasn’t going to be an easy conversation, in fact she wasn’t sure why she wanted to do this. But it was out of obligation for her father.
But would she be able to convince Arnav?
“I am right here…”
She walked out of the kitchen towards him in the living room. She was met with his concerned gaze, as he hit her with questions in one breath.
“How did you get here? Why are you in your workout clothes? Did you go out running by yourself? Didn’t I tell you not to go outside after the paparazzi incident? What’s wrong?”
Khushi shook her head, leaping into his arms and wrapped her arms around his shoulders. She stayed that way for a long moment, as he held her.
“Sweetheart… what’s the matter? Please say something, you’re worrying me…”
She gazed up at him, and smiled.
“I took a taxi from the market where Babuji had dropped me off. He needed to take care of something, so I told him I would call when I am ready to be picked up… before you panic, the bodyguard was with me.
“And that makes it okay? What was the need for you to even go out today?”
She looked down, since she couldn’t tell him the truth. Right now ignorance was the route she chose, and got straight to the point on a whole other matter. She pulled away from his arms, and walked over to the windows.
“Um… woh… when I was out, I bumped into someone…”
He stilled looking at her back, then hearing who she met, he clenched his fists not liking where this was headed.
“Sameer’s parents… they congratulated me, on our shaadi. Arnav, I wanted to talk to you about inviting…” She turn around to face him, his body stiffened as he yelled out.
“Please listen to me. They are my parents’ friends and I feel bad not including them in the ceremonies when we invited their other mutual friends. They haven’t done anything wrong, in fact they supported me. Arnav, despite how Sameer was, his parents are really nice people. For me, can we invite them… please?”
He laughed at the irony of the situation, but this time he was not going to change his mind.
“I don’t care if they are nice people because that does not justify them attending our wedding. Being his parents is a reason enough. Why don’t you get it? I want nothing about him lingering over us on our most important day. And the fact you want this surprises me, Khushi.”
She walked closer to him, but he shook his head, taking a few steps back.
“I want this for my father…”
“If your father wanted them there, he would have said something. The fact he hasn’t, indicates he doesn’t. The answer is no regardless.”
“Arnav, that’s not fair.”
“Oh really?! Do you know what’s not fair? The fact that we are even having this bloody discussion. Did you know that asshole is living with them since he came back here? Did they give you that piece of information?”
“But how do you…”
She walked over to be sofa slumping down, all the sudden feeling drained and light headed.
“Come on, Khushi. Did you think I would not keep track of his whereabouts while you are here? There is no way he will ever come near you.”
“What is the need for that? I told you he is harmless.” She fixed her steady gaze on him, and watched his jaws tighten.
“I don’t give a fuck if he is harmless! The fact will always remain that he tried to harm you and I will take any measure that it never happens again. I can’t believe we are fucking having this discussion!”
He let out a loud grunt, sitting down on the other end of the sofa, frustrated at himself for losing control. He ran his hands through his hair, leaning back and closing his eyes trying to calm himself before saying anything further.
Neither one said anything for a few minutes lost in their thoughts, until her phone started to ring. She sighed, getting up from the sofa, walking towards the kitchen to pick up her phone.
“Hello Babuji… um.. no I am still not finished. Yeah, I will let you know when I leave.” She was startled seeing him come up behind her in the kitchen when she disconnected the call.
“Let’s go, I will drop you off. They are looking for me at home, I need to get back.”
Before she could say anything, he started to walk towards the front door holding it open for her.
She stood in place, staring at him, hoping he would at least look at her. But he was busy typing something on the phone, leaning against the door.
He observed her from the corner of his eyes, aware she still wanted to talk. But at this point he had nothing to say.
An eerie silence surrounded them during the car ride to her house with Arnav looking out the window and Khushi at him. She knew there was only one thing that would made make this right again.
What should she do?
Her mouth opened several times, but she closed it, keeping in mind that Bala was driving.
When the car stopped in front of her house, Arnav continued to ignore her, looking the other way.
“Bala, can you please give Sir and I a few minutes alone? You can go wait by the shaded patio.”
He nodded, getting out of the car, leaving them alone.
“Arnav… baby, can you at least look at me? Tonight is our sangeet and I don’t want us to walk away right now not like this.”
“I know very well what tonight is, but you can’t expect me to be okay. I have told you how I feel… the decision is yours.” His piercing gaze steadied on her, as she sighed in defeat, leaning back in her seat. She didn’t say anything for a moment, looking straight ahead.
She put her hand over his, and spoke softly.
“If you don’t want them at the functions, they won’t be. I will see you tonight.”
His hand turned beneath hers, and squeezed it in acknowledgement, before she let go, getting out of the car.
He sighed frustratedly, watching her walk slowly up to the house. Right now he should be relieved, but somehow he wasn’t. He yelled kicking the front seat, for their day being ruined with the shadow of Sameer.
“Titaliya, did you come back with Arnav? Why didn’t he come inside?”
“Woh, he had to get back home.”
Shashi knew something was not right, looking at his daughter’s face. Her face usually gleamed after seeing Arnav, but today there was sadness in her eyes.
He silently watched her every move, as she glanced at the table which had the gifts and sweets for tonight’s function. Then walked away shaking her head, muttering under her breath.
Thirty minutes later, Garima called out for her, after not getting a response, he decided to see for himself what was troubling her.
He knocked on the slightly ajar door, and walked inside to find Khushi sitting on the floor, packing her suitcase. A task her mother had been on her back for the past couple of weeks.
“So it looks like my Titaliya is in a hurry to go to her sasural…”
“Um… I am packing before Amma yells at me again.”
She kept her back to her father, not ready to face him. At this point she wanted to be left alone, but that didn’t seem like a possibility with him standing over her.
Shashi heard the twinge in her voice, there was no doubt his daughter had been crying.
What could have happened between her and Arnav?
The dreaded breakup from her past came to mind for a quick moment but he instantly shook that thought away. He knew Arnav and Khushi’s relationship was strong. There was trust and love, that wouldn’t easily break them apart.
There was one thing that would make her talk, so he decided to give it a try.
“Khushi, what happened between you two that has you upset? I saw his driver waiting on the porch while you both were talking in the car. Did Arnav do something to hurt you?”
Why did her father always think it was Arnav’s fault?
This was all her doing. The last half hour thinking through her actions had made her realize what a stupid idea it was to even suggest inviting Sameer’s parents.
Things were going well, but of course she needed to add unnecessary drama to the equation. Arnav was right, she could be just as dramatic as Anjali. She couldn’t help laugh at that thought.
He warily looked at her to discern what could be the matter with his daughter, upset one minute and laughing the next.
She took a deep breath, as much as she wanted to keep this from him, he deserved to know what happened today. She took his hand, leading him to her bed to sit.
Khushi explained to her father what occurred when she saw Sameer’s parents, and a part of her conversation that could be shared with Arnav.
“Khushi, why would you even think about inviting them? I am with Arnav on this. I understand you want to do this for me, but you should have consulted with me first. This could have easily been diverted. Now both of you are upset over something that should not even hold such significance right before your wedding. Beta, you can’t always want to do things for others, start thinking about you and Arnav first. Do you understand?”
He wrapped his hand around her shoulder, seeing tears fall down her cheek as she nodded. She placed her head on her father’s shoulder, finding comfort.
“I really don’t know what I was thinking…”
“Shhh… It’s okay, first stop crying before your Amma comes up here. And Arnav is sensible, he will understand and things will be fine when you see him tonight.”
She looked up at her father, really hoping that would be the case. And as if he had read her mind, he softly spoke up.
“There is one thing I know, Arnav would do anything to make you happy. I bet he is probably upset at himself right now for what happened earlier. Khushi, do you know the one thing I beat myself up about?”
He smiled, watching his daughter shaking her head and scrunching up her red nose. As he glanced around the room, he was reminded about the memories sitting here when she was a little girl. But now she was all grown up, and getting married tomorrow.
How did she grow up so fast?
Wasn’t it yesterday that he held her hand when she started walking for the first time?
And tomorrow, he would give her hand to Arnav…
“The fact it took me time to be convinced Arnav was right for you… I should have known when you first told us about him, seeing how happy he made you. Even when he came here to visit us for the first time and confidently asked for your hand in marriage. That took a lot of guts- I didn’t make it easy for him, but he didn’t back down. Do you know even if I tried to find someone, he would not be as good as Arnav. I am glad you chose him, finding yourself a perfect partner and a son for us.”
Khushi’s heart swelled with happiness, hearing her parents acceptance of Arnav as their son. She hugged her father, and he smiled as he saw her mood change.
“Thank you, Babuji… you don’t know how much this means to me that you have accepted Arnav the way you have.”
“Okay, now go fix your face, before your Amma sees you. Then she will become one of the dukhi actresses from the serial she watches.”
They laughed at the possibility as her father left the room, closing the door behind him.
Khushi wanted things to be back to normal with this behind them before the Sangeet, so she decided to send Arnav a text.
“I’m really sorry for the drama earlier, it wasn’t needed and you were right. And you know, I rarely admit to that since I am always right 😉 Can we forget this ever happened? I will do whatever you want to make up for ruining our day today… I love you, baby!”
She sighed, putting her phone to her chest, and then glanced at the pile of bags that needed to be packed.
The next hour, Khushi kept the phone close by, packing her bags for New York while keeping her Delhi bags to the side for her mother’s help. For once she should have listened to her mother and tackled this much earlier.
How did she accumulate so much stuff in a matter of four weeks?
Distracted with getting things in order helped her to not constantly glance at her phone for Arnav’s reply. But hearing the alert, she smiled.
“Sorry, I just saw your message, it’s a bit hectic here. And I am also sorry about losing my temper earlier. I would also like to forget what happened, and have my Khushi back the way I love her… smiling! As for what you can do to make up for this… let me think about it and let you know 😉 Can’t wait to see how gorgeous you will look tonight. Oh, I love you more, sweetheart!”
Tonight couldn’t come soon enough for her to see him, along with his reaction for the surprise she had planned.
When the Gupta’s arrived at Shantivan, the mansion had gone through a magical transformation with a stage set-up at one end of house. There were fairy lights hung in every inch of the home, along with pink and brown sheer fabric. Khushi was left speechless with the decor for their Sangeet as Anjali and Payal showed her around.
“Aakash, where is Arnav?”
She glanced around anxiously, not finding him around.
“Is my Behena missing her fiance? How cute…”
“I swear, you make fun of me and see how I help you with your romantic dates. So are you going to tell me?”
“Fine terminator, he’s in his room. Bhai has asked me to send you there. Enjoy lovebirds and no rush since there is still plenty of time left for the guests to arrive.”
“Thank you, Bhaiya!” She giggled, pinching his cheek and hurried towards Arnav’s room.
She smiled as she reached outside his door, lifting her hand to knock but opted to walk inside as he was expecting her.
Arnav was about to speak up hearing the door open, but was left stunned at the beautiful woman in front of him.
Khushi was dressed a dark cream net layered lehenga with a thick gold stoned and purple border, which flared at the bottom. The short deep purple choli was embroidered in zari and stone, paired with a pink net dupatta, wrapped around her shoulders. Heavy chandelier earrings hung from her ears matching the choker necklace around her neck. Her hair pushed back from the front, with loose curls cascading to one side.
“Wow look at you! You look absolutely stunning. Though I am not sure about this… Did you really pick this out? Isn’t this jacket too long?”
He put the textured velvet chocolate brown against his chest that was in his hand, and frowned. She walked up to him, placing a kiss on his cheek and took the jacket from his hands.
“This is the latest style, and I know you will look very handsome in it. I would have figured you would like this, it’s sort of like the fitted suits you wear. Here turned around, I will help you put the jacket on.”
He followed her instructions, sliding his arms inside the jacket. She walked around to face him, and slowly buttoned his jacket.
“I missed this… you putting on my jacket. Having you this close to me…” He whispered in her ears, wrapping his arms around her waist and pulled her closer as she did the last button.
“Me too. Baby, one more day, then I will be yours forever.” She wrapped her arms around his neck.
“You already are mine.” He kissed her forehead, pulling her into an embrace, where they both remained. His arms provided her the solace she sought from earlier today.
“I think we should go outside, before someone comes looking for us.” She said a moment later, as he fixed his collar looking at the mirror.
“In a few minutes, first I need to give you something.”
He made her sit down on the chaise, then walked inside his closet, coming back with a box in his hand.
She raised her eyebrow, as he sat next to her, placing the box in her hand. He gestured her to open it, looking on eagerly for her reaction.
“Oh Arnav, these are so beautiful. Where did you find these?” She gently placed the box down in between them, taking a payal in her hand.
His heart brimmed, seeing how elated she was. Looking down at the box, he took the other payal in his hand.
“Khushi, did you know when I younger, I loved payals? Ma used to wear them… They made me feel closer to her, by hearing the sound, always knowing where she was. And these…” He paused, tracing the intricate design with his finger. “I had insisted Ma to buy them for my wife…”
A soft gasp escaped from her, as he nodded, taking her hand in his.
“Remember I told you we lost everything that belonged to my parents, including her jewelry. But Nani had these with her and gave them to me today. You probably have your own for the wedding, but it would mean so much to me if you would wear these…”
She looked back at the payal in her hand with tears blurring her vision. They weren’t only a gift, but a memory of his mother. And for her, they were priceless and now her prized possession.
“Arnav, of course I will wear them for our wedding. In fact would it be alright with you if I wear them now?”
He swallowed thickly, pushing back the tear that threatened to fall at her acceptance.
“Are you sure? I mean you can wear them tomorrow.”
“I would be honored to wear them to every function for our shaadi. By me wearing them, Ma will be there with us. Would you mind putting them on for me?”
She slid her shoes off, as he knelt down in front of her. He lifted her feet, and placed them on his knee. He glanced up, and she nodded, gesturing him to remove the ones she was wearing.
She closed her eyes, feeling his warm hands graze her feet as he removed them. Feeling his fingers caress her legs, she opened her eyes and found him intensely watching her. After tying the payal around her ankles, he kissed both feet. She shivered at his touch, feeling goosebumps erupting all over her skin. He placed her feet down, fixing her lehenga.
“They look perfect on you, sweetheart. Your mehndi came out beautiful on your feet and your…” He kissed both of her hands, helping her up from the chaise.
“Thank you for this precious gift, it’s one I will cherish forever.”
As he leaned down to kiss her, there was a knock at the door. He groaned, shaking his head, while she giggled.
“Arnav, Khushi… let’s go the guests have started to arrive. We need to get the sangeet started.”
“We’re coming Di!” He paused. “Get used to this, interruptions all day long in Shantivan. There is no privacy around here. I hope you like our room.”
He winked at her, motioning to the bed.
“Please don’t besharam me, it’s been six very long weeks. I hope you’re ready for our suhaag raat. And I don’t want to hear any excuses about how you’re tired.”
“Um… didn’t you know there is a rasam, where we won’t be sleeping together tomorrow?”
“Don’t even try it! They were talking about decorating this room for tomorrow night, so it’s a given that we are sleeping together. Though there won’t be much sleeping. I suggest you close your mouth. I would offer to do it myself but don’t want to ruin your makeup. Plus I won’t be able to control myself. Now come on let’s go before they barge in here.”
The sangeet was kicked off in full pomp with the band playing live music as the guests started to arrive. After greeting everyone, and meeting new faces, both families were anxious to kick off the function. Unknown to the jodi, everyone had planned something special for them tonight.
“Why do you look so nervous, sweetheart?”
He had been observing her, continuously staring at the stage as they walked around meeting with the guests. And now as they sat down in their seats, waiting for the function to start, she kept fidgeting with her dupatta.
“Woh… um… who me nervous? No, why would I be?”
Who was she kidding?
She was petrified getting up there for her surprise, but a part of her couldn’t wait to see his reaction. She took a deep breath, putting aside her nerves to enjoy the sangeet.
She leaned back in her seat, wrapping her arm with his and smiled at him.
“Now that is much better. Waise, do you what they have planned? I hope it’s not too much, there is only so much I can take of this.”
“Oh I suggest you sit back and get comfortable, we are going to be here for awhile. Everyone has been working hard to put on a performance together for us. Please just enjoy it.”
She smiled, before turning to the stage where Aakash stood with a mic in his hand.
“Welcome everyone to the Gupta, Raizada Sangeet function! We are all glad you were able to join us in the celebrations for two very special people, Arnav and Khushi… Bhai and soon to be Bhabhi, though you will always be my behena, this is from all us to you!”
Arnav and Khushi watched on amazed at the talent and performance each member of the family put together with a medley of songs. They were shocked to see Nani and Buaji, add a classical twist to the performance. Even Aditya, made his dancing debut in his parents arms for his mamu and new soon to be mami, which left Khushi blowing kissing and whistles.
When she heard her mother’s voice on stage, singing a song she often did when she was growing up, it brought tears to her eyes. Arnav wrapped his arm around her shoulder, handing his handkerchief to her. The heartfelt song, touching both of them.
Mehlon ka raja mila
Ki rani beti raaj karegi
Khushi khushi kar do bida
Tumhari beti raaj karegi
Mehlon ka raja mila
Ki rani beti raaj karegi
Galiyon galiyon dhoom machegi
Galiyon galiyon dhoom machegi
Kandhe kandhe doli chalegi
Doli mein dolega jiya
Doli mein dolega jiya
Ki rani beti raaj karegi
Khushi khushi kar do bida
Tumhari beti raaj karegi
Afterwards, despite Arnav’s refusal, his family pulled him up on stage, making him dance along with them towards the end of their performance.
Khushi smiled looking on, seeing him letting loose, and having a good time. It was a rare sight to see Arnav Singh Raizada on the dancefloor to upbeat desi music. Though she was left stunned at the end, when Aakash urged him to sing something. He took the mic, staring directly at her and smirked, raising his eyebrow.
Le Jayenge Le Jayenge
Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge
Aji Rahey Jayenge Rahey Jayenge
Delhiwaley Dekhtey Rahey Jayenge
A few moments later, he came back taking his seat next to her and winked at her. She pulled him towards her, tightly wrapping her arms around his neck and kissed his cheek.
“Khushi, what are you doing? I don’t mind, but not sure how our families will feel about you kissing me in public.”
“After that performance, baby, I really don’t care. Plus that was harmless, we are getting married so they will understand. Though I would love to do so much more, but for now this is good.” She winked at him, getting up from her seat. “I will be right back…”
A few minutes later, the lights went off, followed by a spot light hitting center stage. He smiled, seeing Khushi standing there looking out at the crowd.
“Thank you everyone on behalf of Arnav and I for making our Sangeet extra special by being here with us. And to our families and friends, the performances were mind blowing… thank you, we will always remember them. And now, for the last performance for the evening before we open up the dance floor for everyone to dance the night away.”
She paused, taking a deep breath, gathering herself to continue.
His heart thudded in his chest as she began speaking, staring directly at him with a glint her eyes.
“This performance is dedicated to my Arnav, who has shown me the meaning of true love, giving me a new life by being with me every step of the way… good and bad. And may we find our future together happily as husband and wife…”
He threw her a soft flying kiss, making her smile before the stage went dark.
A moment later, the spotlight shone on her feet, as she slightly raised her lehenga to reveal her payal and started to tap her feet in place, and began to dance gracefully on the stage along with the music.
Maine paayal hai chhankaayi
Ab to aaja tu harjaayi
Meri saanson mein tu hai basa
O sajna, aaja na ab tarsa
Maine paayal hai chhankaayi
Ab to aaja tu harjaayi
Meri saanson mein tu hai basa
O sajna, aaja na ab tarsa
He sat there in awe, his heart swelling with every move and gesture through the song as she emphasized the payals.
Chale jab yeh purvaayi
Baje dil mein shahenaayi
Tu hi mere sapnon ka, o sajna
Main din bhar soch mein jugoon
Main raat mein jaag mein soun
Tu hi dil mein rehta hai, o sajna
Though she could only see his silhouette in the dark, she felt his eyes on her the entire time. She continued giving her everything in the performance as she sang and danced for him and only him.
As the song was coming to its end, she went off the stage and took his hand taking him up on the stage as another upbeat melody started and she danced around him. Both of their families joining them on stage, and danced around them with diyas in their hands, letting him know it was a joint planned performance.
Pardesiya Yeh Sach Hai Piya
Sab Kehte Hain Maine Tujhko Dil De Diya
Main Kehti Hoon Tune Mera Dil Le Liya
He felt the euphoria surrounding him as they all danced, feeling it himself for his loved ones. But most of all for the woman who stood in front him smiling brightly, his everything. He pulled her into his arms, wrapping his arms around her, as she did the same. He leaned down kissing her forehead, and whispered in her ears.
“You were spectacular, thank you… I love you!”
The sangeet turned out to be one memorable evening for both of them, one that would remain in their hearts. But at the end of the night, both closer to becoming one. A moment they both were eagerly waiting for.
Tomorrow they will be married.
The next morning, Arnav and Khushi woke up with wide smiles on their wedding day. Finally the day had arrived, and both were impatient to see the other tonight.
But before the wedding, the Haldi ceremony needed to take place. Both families spent the morning conducting the ceremony at their respective homes.
The Raizada’s celebrations were joyful applying haldi on Arnav, dressed in his old jeans and a button down yellow shirt, which Anjali insisted on him wearing. She wanted him in something colorful, compared to his dark, dull colored clothing he typically wore.
Arnav wasn’t thrilled as everyone took turns putting Haldi on his arms and feet. He was adamant, only allowing two people to apply it on his face, Nani and Di.
While at the Gupta’s residence, the celebration was less joyful, since it was their daughter’s last few hours in their home. Though Buaji tried to make the atmosphere lighter teasing her sanka devi. Along with other relatives and friends, who generously applied haldi to Khushi’s fair skin.
But for Garima and Shashi, it was tearful, standing over their daughter and getting nostalgic recalling her childhood days.
Khushi sat, with a heavy heart, in a burgundy velvet with gold embroidered lehenga, paired with a mustard silk choli, and a light yellow sheer dupatta. While she was ready to get married, the thought of being away from her parents, saddened her.
When she stood up to take her parents blessing, they engulfed her in a group hug. Something they had been doing for years, but this one left them emotional.
After the ceremony was over, Arnav walked into his room, noticing a text from Khushi.
“So we’re finally getting married tonight 🙂 There is a little something for you in the drawer on the left side table next to our bed. I hope to see you with it tonight… Love you more, my soon to be husband! XOXO”
He walked over to the table, and opened the drawer finding the wrapped box. Taking it in his hand, he sat on the bed. Intrigued by the gift, he quickly tore off the wrapping paper.
His eyes widened, as he caressed the Breitling watch label on the lacquer black box. When he opened the box, he was taken aback by the stunning platinum watch with a black face with a hint of red dial. But what made his heart skip a beat was a handwritten tag attached to the watch from Khushi.
“See you at midnight! Hamesha yours, Khushi”
See you all back here on Friday dressed in your finest for the wedding of our lovely couple… ❤